The fifth book in the very popular Tomorrow series by Australian author John Marsden.
Quite spookily the attack on the airfield depicted in the story bears a striking
resemblence to the attack by the Tamil Tigers on the international airport in
Columbo, Sri Lanka.
I have to say that I really enjoyed the chance to read this
book again as it my favourite in the series apart from the first book.
What makes this one of my favourite books in the series,
is the fact that the story takes an unexpected turn so early in the book.
It seems that in the previous books, there always seemed to be a build
up to a major event which took up most of the novel. The fact that this
book doesn't follow this path makes it exciting to read.
The characterisation in this novel is particularly well handled,
with Kevin's breakdown being totally unexpected and very realistically
Also, the way the other characters react to the situations and to each
other is quite well done. There are also some other characters introduced,
in the form of the street kids that Ellie, Homer and Fi get mugged by.
This hints that we will see more of them in the future.
While I don't think so, some people may think some of the situations depicted
in this novel are not as realistic as those portrayed in the previous books
in the series. I reason don't agree with this, is the fact the character's
previous experience in similar situations validates what they end up doing
as they feel they have no choice.
When the group is forced to flee to Stratton, this leads to even more interesting
situations with the enemy and from a foe they never would have expected.
One of the main things that contributes to the success of this novel is the
language used. Exhilarating would have to be the only way to describe the
way the group's attack on the airfield is depicted. It seems the rest of the
book is a 'wind-down' compared to what happens in the first section, but
if you know the series you know that nothing turns out like you would expect.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough to not only fans of the series,
but also people who wouldn't normally read books before. I reckon even
Big Arnie and Stallone fans would like it.
The following contains spoilers for the book...
After only just managing to escape Wirrawee as a result of their failed
attack on the airfield, the group is back in Hell, having also found
to their disappointment that Colonel Finley does not want to bring
them back to New Zealand.
A week or so of complaining later, it is Lee that encourages the others to
do something, as he says that he doesn't want to cower down in Hell for
the rest of the war.
In the end Ellie and her friends decide to go in the general direction
of where Ellie's Mum is meant to be, not before they have a fight
with the less than keen Kevin, who they bully into coming.
The group ends up following the Wirrawee-Holloway Road and they find
themselves in a rubbish dump, where they muck around. This doesn't last
long however, when the enemy turns up in trucks to dump stuff.
Thinking fast, Ellie decides to hide in one of the trucks and the
others follow her just in time, as the solider who was driving the truck
goes into the shed they were hiding in.
After an about an hour travelling in the stifling darkness of the truck,
the group finds themselves in a massive shed. Upon investigating they find
to their horror that they have ended up inside the airfield.
Their surveillance reveals that security is somewhat lax inside the
airfield, so they decide on a plan of attack.
These plans are almost dashed due to Kevin's reaction to this idea.
He has a total breakdown and retreats to the back of the truck
that the group arrived in.
A supposed routine reconnaissance by Ellie into the barracks opposite
the hangar the group was hiding in, ends in disaster and the group
is forced to carry out their plan immediately.
What follows has to be one of the best action sequences in the entire
series. It is something bigger than probably even the enemy they are
attacking has seen before.
The group manages to escape the airfield, but this is just the start
of the troubles as they have to get far away and stay there for as long as the
Their escape route takes them down the river for two days and they eventually
end up in Stratton at Ellie's grandmother's house.
On their arrival at the house, Ellie is almost injured when she is attacked
by a squatter. Over the next couple of days they realise they are being
watched. This is confirmed when some of them are mugged by someone they
would never expect.
Ellie and her friends seem to settle down a bit as time passes, but Ellie
notices that Lee has started to go off on his own at nights and one night
she decides to follow him...